1998 Star Struck cap poster

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This cap poster was produced by the Star Struck apparel company in 1998. This poster has significant meaning for me personally, and I received it as a complementary gift inside the box when I ordered a cap from the company in that year. The poster is also useful for historic data collection. As an example, the left-hand margin of the poster features logos from the 14 leagues represented by the caps, and a few of them I have never seen on the internet or anywhere else.

On the poster, 158 team caps were depicted, including the affiliates of the then brand-new Diamondbacks and Devil Rays. Though that 158 number is quite close to the 160 we see today (from Rookie-Advanced to Triple-A levels), it’s more like a case of “too much here, too little there,” and the end result is about the same number. To give you an idea: in 1998, neither expansion team had a Double-A team, making 28, yet there were 32 Class-A Advanced teams. The caps are arranged alphabetically by place name, and each entry features a cap with logo, a blue strip with team name and state/country abbreviation in parentheses, the team’s stadium, major league affiliate, minor league level, and minor league that the team operates in.

Looking at the big picture (literally) there are a few trends that pop out. As one would expect of the time period, the colors teal and purple are very well represented. Interestingly, earthier tones were also quite popular, with plenty of green, but also smatterings of brown, tan, and burgundy.

I’ve selected a sample of 32 teams to prominently display on this page and to provide a little commentary. There are a few different reasons why I’ve selected these 32, but generally speaking, these are either short-lived teams or short-lived logos/colors. Since I have cap posters from 1995 and 2003, it’s fairly easy to get a sense of what was specific to the time around 1998. Please forgive some of the impurities of the images. I had this poster folded and rolled up in a storage tote for the better part of 20 years, and also the photography is not always perfect, to say the least.

 

Highlights and curiosities from 1998

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This is the only time I’ve ever seen the Doubledays with a pin-striped hat and teal logo. The same logo exists today, but with navy and red as team colors.
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For a stretch, the long-tenured Hawks incorporated an Angel wing into their logo and used Anaheim colors.
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This horseshoe B logo that Butte wore in their later years would eventually be co-opted by the Billings Mustangs, who would tilt the logo 90 degrees counterclockwise to form an M. But Billings had the idea first! They were using a rudimentary horseshoe on caps and jerseys back in the 80s.
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Calgary’s last shot at merchandise sales before they moved to Albuquerque. Note the “Can.” in place of a state postal code.
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A short-lived yet memorable identity. Is “Monteal” a misspelling or an allusion to the cap color?
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I chose this one because the “skywriting C” with the bomber is rarely seen. In images both before an after this time, the “stencil C” is king.
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The “unicorn knight” was a cap logo when the team was in the Double-A Southern League before their promotion in 1993, but for a while, they were using the “castle K” logo before returning to the unicorn.
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This is a snapshot of Sky Sox history–when they had simplistic Rockies-like colors and featured Socko the mascot on their cap.
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The “realistic fox” logo was sandwiched in time between a simple letter design and a more cartoonish fox.
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This is a good story for another day. For this one season, there was a team called the Danville 97s in the Carolina League, and they shared a stadium with the still-existent D-Braves of the Appy League.
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I picked this one because the black with teal look was short-lived for this iconic defunct PCL team.
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This was the first year the team switched from the “Ems” logo to the squiggly E. The color depicted as yellowy here would quickly become a true old gold/bronze color. Then it would change again. And again after that.
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This little eagle was only around for a few years. I assume it’s an eagle, at least.
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A very intense and short-lived logo.
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The Huntsville Stars changed their logo many times over the years, and this version didn’t last long.
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One of the gems of the poster is this short-lived team. Nowadays, the Cobras are one of the teams that you see depicted on reprinted merchandise. Certainly a team of its time.
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They didn’t last long after changing their name from Mounties. Note the all-caps CAN rather than the previous Can.–one of the few inconsistencies in an otherwise error-free poster.
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Logo from the early days of the Spinners. Would be replaced by the tornado-of-yarn not long after.
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This logo was short-lived–occuring between a baseball-shaped M and a change to the Astros.
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To this day when I think about the BayBears, this is the logo that pops to mind. Strange, considering how quickly it was changed.
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This version of the elephant wasn’t along for long.
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Like the Cobras and Crocs, the Boll Weevils identity was here and gone quickly, yet left a lasting legacy of reprinted apparel.
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Not much to say about the Pulaski Rangers. They were a team that existed for a few years–including the year this poster was made.
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This one is a curiosity. It’s a cartoonized version of Tremor, the Quakes’ on-field dinosaur mascot. Not sure if this was merely an alternate cap. That teal-on-teal doesn’t give much contrast, eh?
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Another flash-in-the-pan identity. The St. Catherine’s Blue Jays changed their name and then were quickly stomped out of existence. Gotta love the grape juice-footed ballplayer who looks like a Peanuts character.
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Short-lived team. Skillful three-letter adaptation of the Devil Rays’ iconic gradient typeface.
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The horse-running-through-baseball was only around for a brief period between the Spirit and the Inland Empire 66ers.
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Selected because it is so rare to see the full body of the silver-hawk. They eventually chopped its head off and stuck to only that.
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They weren’t around for long, but look at that luscious green and Paul Bunyan-esque character.
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More green! I like green!
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A Marlins affiliate, but still using a blue version of Boston’s logo. This was a bit after the “Blue Marlins” or “Teal Sox” era. Story for another day.
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The team was new in ’98, and this seems like bit of a slapped-together logo. It was replaced by the mustache man within a few years.

 

 

 

 

 

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